Although it turns out this isn’t nearly as brag-worthy of a project as the whole toilet adventure – it does involve the dog as repair “assistant” and that’s always a good time!
So…my ice maker was dripping. Nothing dramatic, just a little stalagmite of ice in the back corner every day or so. For many weeks, I just removed the little clump of ice every morning before I filled my cup to make my first iced coffee of the day.
After a while I started to think that this might eventually turn into a trouble. If the drip turned to a gush and filled the entire freezer with a huge block of ice – that would be bad.
Hiring a repair person would generally be my first line of defense. But since I had the repair people out to check the seal on the fridge door and was charged $80 for the priceless advice to keep something heavy in the door to help it close, I was a bit hesitant to get them out here. I figured they’d probably open the freezer, turn some obvious knob, and charge me a bajillion $s for the joy of watching them do so.
I took to the internet and Googled “ice maker dripping.”
Turns out there are an enormous array of forums devoted to appliance repair. Who knew??
I found something that sounded like my stalagmite problem – and it said that if the drip stopped when the little arm was up to turn the ice maker off, I needed a new one. If it continued to drip, I would need a water inlet valve.
I turned it off. And in the morning, no stalagmite. Also, no ice. Rats.
After a run to Dunkin’ Donuts for iced coffee, I thought about my options. And it seemed that hiring someone to come replace the ice maker was a good bet. So I put that on my to-do list. Which is quite a long list, by the way.
And so each day I removed my little tower-o-ice and threw it in the sink. And hoped and hoped it wouldn’t break further before I was ready to spend some coin on a repair guy.
But then – since I was feeling all confident from the toilet repair success (like childbirth, the pain – and dampness – leading to the success is long forgotten) – I thought, maybe I could replace the ice maker myself. Could I?
I consulted with my Facebook friends (almost as excellent a source as Google for many things). I consulted the fridge manual. I ordered the appropriate ice maker ($137 – since then I found a “universal ice maker” that might have worked for $50!). I thought at the very least I wouldn’t pay the markup on the parts when the guy came to rip me off for the installation.
The ice maker arrived – yay! In a brown box – with no instructions – no nothing. Ice maker. In a box. That’s it.
I am good at following instructions – the queen of IKEA construction. But without documentation I am a little lost.
So I took to Facebook again, and my college friend told me exactly what to do (!) Woot!! Unscrew. Unplug. Rescrew. Replug.
I can do that.
I decided this was a good thing to let the kids help with. They love tools. And they like taking stuff apart. And they are small enough to crawl into the freezer, which isn’t all that handy in general, but in this case – very helpful.
We went to the basement and turned off both the water and the electricity to the fridge. Tater (my son, 9) helped me take the freezer drawer apart (we have a bottom freezer).
I unscrewed the first screw and then put Sprout (my daughter, 11) to work on the rest. We had to wipe a ridiculous amount of grossness out of the bottom of the freezer (how does that even get in there?). And then she crawled all the way in there and went to work.
I was sitting on the floor holding a flashlight – contorted a bit into the freezer. Tater was right beside me “consulting” and trying to hold the ice maker up as the screws were coming out.
We must have looked like we were having a lot of fun huddled over there – because this was the moment that Dixie (the dog) chose to come find a lap to sit in. Clearly we weren’t doing anything and were ready to pet her. Slackers.
I removed her from my lap – and we got the ice maker out – the unplugging was a little tricky, but not a big deal.
The next thing was to get the electric connector out of the ice maker itself – so I took it over to the sink to do so. This caused Sprout to burst into tears because I wasn’t letting her do ANYTHING.
Dude, I let you get in the FREEZER!!
So she stomped off – outraged that she wasn’t getting to help AT ALL.
We got everything we needed apart and back together. Since Sprout had been the un-screwer, Tater was on deck to be the re-attacher. He also fits nicely in the freezer compartment.
He worked on the screws. Sprout came back to complain quite bitterly that he got to do 3 SCREWS and she only got to do 2…because I had stolen that first one from her.
As we debated this, huddled around the freezer again – Dixie came and sat in Tater’s lap. In the freezer. While he was wielding a screwdriver.
Dogs are weird.
Once everything seemed sufficiently attached – we reassembled the freezer drawer. And then I posted the kids as lookouts and went to turn everything back on.
I instructed them to scream if anything dramatic happened. There was some discussion of the need for walkie-talkies. Vetoed.
Really – just scream. I am not going into the wilderness – just the basement.
I turned on the water. No screaming.
I turned on the electric. No screaming.
Wow. Did it work? With no drama?
What on earth?
There seemed to be water in the little ice cube sections. Nothing was dripping.
We had to go out for Sprout’s big concert…and when we came home guess what we found?
ICE! In the ice maker!!
And in the morning? No stalagmite. Just nice un-stuck-together cubes.
And the only “trouble” was not ENOUGH work to do. Wow.
So now I am looking all around – what else can we fix???
And where else can those kids fit?